What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

old seed packets

on February 2, 2014

It’s Groundhog Day, and Candlemas … and I overhear that something else is happening tonight that might capture the attention of my fellow Americans (I believe it has to do with the premiere of a spate of television commercials). But for many of us who garden in the northern hemisphere, winter’s grip begins to chafe. Thoughts of spring turn toward seeds.

I’ve inventoried my stores and considered what to order. I’ve failed with three trials at growing bunching onions, but I want them so much that I’ll make another attempt. Nimue’s suggested we try our hand at stevia (Stevia rebaudiana). Otherwise we’re well-supplied.

It’s also fallen to me to keep the seed stock of the Evergreen Community Garden. That’s another overflowing shoebox of cheerfully printed packets, which I regret to report have been carelessly stored in a sun-baked metal shed. Almost all came as gifts, and I’m grateful for each. But I have to exercise some intelligent stewardship of our growing space, and I doubt the viability of 17-year-old cabbage and cauliflower seed.

not-quite-vintage cauliflower seed

not-quite-vintage cauliflower seed

However, I recalled that just before Thoreau uttered now-famous words about his “faith in a seed” to the Middlesex Agricultural Society, he observed that some specimens, particularly small ones, might survive decades or even hundreds of years before germinating and growing. In this case, I have more hope than faith, but I didn’t want to toss them out without giving them a chance. So I poured several dozen cabbage seeds from the lot into a paper towel, wet it, sealed it in a plastic bag, and left it on top of the fridge.

That was more than a week ago. The seeds remain little hard spheres. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, into the compost pile I’ll commit them, in sure and certain hope of their eventual return in some form of new life.

shedding styles: compost, recycle (for the paper envelopes)
destinations: compost pile, community recycling stream

Comments welcome … what might you shed today?

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One response to “old seed packets

  1. […] dear, I found more packets of old seeds I missed in my first pass through the Evergreen Community Garden seed […]

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